CAN advocacy award winner: Who can become a scientist?

CAN is proud to support the “Who can become a scientist?” workshop

Description of event

Who can become a scientist? is a workshop for a high school age audience. The workshop is approximately 1.5 hours and is currently in a virtual format. The program is led by a team of dedicated undergraduate and graduate volunteers, and pairs module-based education about equity diversity and inclusion issues in science along with audience-participation activities. The workshop begins with a ~25 min interactive introduction, that includes participants being asked to participate in a poll regarding their career interests and to draw or write a description of a scientist (not for sharing with the group just for their own reference). This is followed by a number of self and pair/small group reflection-type questions and then leads into 3 optional modules, titled:

  1. Getting inspired by role models: “If you can see it, you can be it!”
  2. Leveraging support from mentors
  3. Advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion

Target audience / Outreach potential

The target audience is high school age students, but could be adapted to broaden the scope. We expect to reach between 50 and 200 high school age students in this first year.

Main objective of event

To promote the awareness and importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in science.


The idea for the workshop was sparked by a discussion about equity, diversity and inclusion amongst members of the Swayne lab at the University of Victoria. Over the past year, the workshop has been developed by a collaborative group including members the Swayne lab, University of Victoria faculty members, and students at the University of Victoria together with the local chapter of Let’s Talk Science, with input and feedback from the University of Victoria Office of Equity and Human Rights.

Developers & Organizers:

Leigh Anne Swayne
Rebecca Candlish
Juan Sanchez-Arias
Emma van der Slagt
Afnan Juma
Dzifa Dordunoo
Jane Gair
Moussa Magassa
Elisa Gonçalves de Andrade
Simone St. Louis Anderson
Melissa Mills
Hannah Richards
Crystal Washington


New advocacy opportunities

CAN is proud to launch two new advocacy initiatives today:

  1. The CAN federal election engagement toolkit
  2. The Canadian Science Discoveries Video contest

The CAN federal election engagement toolkit

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) has several priorities this Federal Election, including:

  • A commitment to provide a one-time 25% increase in investment in the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for research restart and recovery from the setback of the COVID-19 pandemic to research laboratories in Canada.
  • A commitment to provide robust and predictable funding for basic discovery research to sustain and grow Canada’s scientific community. Funding to the CIHR, the NSERC and the SSHRC should be increased by at least 10% yearly.
  • A commitment to reinstate a dedicated Minister of Science, so that the unique needs of the scientific community may have a devoted seat at the Cabinet table.

As such, we have prepared an “Election Toolkit” for CAN Members looking to get engaged throughout the election which is available in the CAN Election Readiness Google Drive here: . If you have any questions, or if you need further assistance, please feel free to contact Kristina Proulx from TSA at

The Canadian Science Discoveries Video contest

The goal of this contest, which is open to everyone, is to raise awareness of the importance of fundamental science by sharing Canadian science success stories

View all the details of the contest here:

Read CAN’s submission to the pre-budget consultations of the House of Commons standing committee on Finances

Read CAN’s submission here: Increased investment in scientific research: An investment in the health and prosperity of Canadians today and tomorrow (PDF)

You can submit a brief also! The Standing Committee on Finance is accepting submission to its Pre-Budget Consultations in advance of the 2022 budget. Written submissions of no more than 2,000 words, can be submitted to the Committee until Friday, August 6, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. More information is available in the news release.

We also invite all our members to share our brief with their member of Parliament and election candidates.

Recording available: CSPC panel 128 – Roles & Responsibilities of Academic Science Societies in informing Policy: Lessons & Observations from Around the World

The recording of the CSPC panel from November 17 2020 is now available from the CSPC. Learn more on their website:

CAN President Charles Bourque’s intervention begins at 1:08. Continue reading

CAN submission to Department of Finance pre-budget consultations

On January 25, 2021the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier, launched pre-budget consultations. These discussions allow the government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can support Canadians through the pandemic and help us build back better.

When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government has a plan to make smart, targeted investments to jumpstart the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic. These pre-budget consultations are an opportunity for Canadians from across the country to share their ideas and priorities for how the government can best invest to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a greener, more competitive, more inclusive, and more resilient economy.

Read the full press release here:

and visit the consultation website here:

Read the Canadian Association for Neuroscience’s submission here


CAN President Charles Bourque participation in the Canadian Science Policy Conference as panelist

Professor Charles Bourque will participate in the session: Roles & Responsibilities of Academic Science Societies in informing Policy: Lessons & Observations from Around the World – November 17th at 8:30 via zoom, as part of the Canadian Science Policy Conference which takes place virtually this year.

Take a look at the whole program here:

Panel description and participants

Continue reading

CAN Hill week is taking place November 2-6, 2020, virtually

We are very excited to be organizing the first ever CAN Hill week, which will take place November 2 -6 2020, virtually.  Our objective is to advocate for more funding for fundamental research in Canada through CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

We have over 25 meetings organized in which over 50 CAN neuroadvocates will participate.

Follow us on social media to learn more!

#CANHillWeek #neuroadvocate

Read our CAN Hill week one-pager to learn more